Secretly Distributon

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2018-09-14
Sextile: 3 EP

Since its inception in 2015, Sextile have gained a devout following thanks to the seductive energy of their live shows and nonstop touring. After numerous lineup changes, the now two-piece comprised of Brady Keehn and Melissa Scaduto have shifted toward a minimalist approach that's as heavy hitting as ever. Now favoring synths over guitars, they haven't thrown out the strings completely. '3' was recorded in Los Angeles at their home and practice space using a KORG MS10, a sequencer, a Fender Stratocaster, a LinnDrum, and various percussion instruments. Finding inspiration in futurist writer Luigi Russolo's "The Art of Noises," the pair employs a sonic palette that mirrors the chaos of the modern industrial era. Sextile excels at regulating noise, whether the source is a percussive clang, guitar stab, synth trill, or Keehn's militant vocals. Throughout '3,' bursts of abrupt discord punctuate thumping rhythms and hypnotic bass sequences. While the appropriately titled "Disco" is a clubworthy opener, "Spun" delivers the signature Sextile sound with rowdy, squealing guitars. '3' places the band's sound somewhere between DAF and Gang of Four, but it's that tinge of futurism and the observations of the current political climate that steer them right to the present. It's the explosive sound of now - it's punk that can hold down a dance floor.

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2015-08-21
Sextile: A Thousand Hands

Initially living in Brooklyn, guitarist/vocalist Brady Keehn and drummer/vocalist Melissa Scaduto made a jump to Los Angeles on a whim as the financial climate in New York became too much. Within months of being in LA, the two conveniently met bassist Kenny Elkin and guitarist/keyboardist Eddie Wuebben. Occultism, specifically a deeper understanding of astrology, was a connection amongst the band, hence the name Sextile, an astrological term that relates to harmony and the ease of expression of two seemingly different elements.

With urgency, the band quickly completed A Thousand Hands, a primitive form of rock n roll, melding surf punk, early industrial, ambient and post-punk. The album title is inspired by a form of spirit channeling that Wuebben was experimenting with one night. After doing open eye meditation for a long period of time, he observed thousands of hands reaching down towards him, violently in an extremely frightening, simultaneously exciting manor. The experience left such an impression on the band, it became the first track on the album as well the album title.

Still, whilst Sextile's journey on A Thousand Hands' has undoubted moments of bleakness & catharsis, the band express their will to live, to confront their demons and forge on in search of better days, making for a captivating & spellbinding listen upon the way.

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2017-07-14
Sextile: Albeit Living

As a stable fixture in the Los Angeles underground, Sextile has been gaining a devout following since its creation in 2015. The four-piece creates a revolutionary sound — boldly throwing convention out the window to create an entirely original, genre-bending imprint that combines the raw energy of 70's punk with the intricate, sophisticated structural elements of 80’s post-punk and synthwave.

Sextile's first release, A Thousand Hands, had a signature sound that was a dark and primitive form of rock n' roll, a blend of surf punk, early industrial, and post-punk marked by heavy use of distorted guitar feedback and primal drum beats against a backdrop of violent energy.

Sextile is back with their sophomore LP, Albeit Living. The album is a testament to the band's growth in the songwriting department and effort spent fine-tuning their burgeoning compositional skills. Despite its more sophisticated sound, the album manages to match and even intensify the seductive energy of their live shows and debut album. The album is a strong statement that re-defines Sextile's sound, but the real impact the album has is the way it decisively breaks the rules and guidelines set out by conventional genres and strives to create something truly unique and genre-altering.

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2016-04-15
Ashley Shadow: Ashley Shadow

With the release of her eponymous debut album, Ashley Shadow has at long last taken center stage after a decade of valuable contributions to highly regarded, diverse musical acts. Though bestowed with a strong voice both lulling and bracing in its quality, Ashley spent the first five years of her musical career playing bass guitar for rock-noir outfit The Organ before recording and/or touring with Bonnie Prince Billy, Pink Mountaintops, The Cave Singers and Lightning Dust.

Her self-titled debut endeavors to find certainty amidst incessant change and ensures that her talent -- a secret long known around her home of Vancouver, British Columbia -- will be shared with the rest of the world's melody lovers. Enlisting the help of producer and multi-instrumentalist Josh Wells (Black Mountain), guitarists Ryan Beattie (Himalayan Bear) Peter Le Grand and Darcy Hancock, Ashley Shadow has asserted an independent stake in the musical community she has enriched for so long.

Prior to focusing on her own songwriting, Ashley has given much of her heart and energy to working with the marginalized, at risk population in Vancouver. When she stepped back to reflect on these experiences, songs were inspired by both relationships during that time and the unique emotional work and struggles she involved herself in.

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2017-06-30
Au.Ra: Cultivations

We've all been there before: stuck in the wrong place at the right time. In Au.Ra's case, Tom Crandles and Tim Jenkins both walked to the wrong Sydney campus for a TAFE class on audio engineering. Once they realized no one else was going to show up-- and the fact that the right classroom was in another neighborhood--the future collaborators were forced to talk about their shared interests. As the conversation wore on, Crandles and Jenkins both realized they were at a crossroads musically. And since they seemed to be on the same page sonically, the potential for a new project felt particularly strong. Limitless even, so they started rehearsing to see where some improv sessions would lead. The duo didn't want to rush their first record, though. It took two years to wrap 2015's acclaimed Jane's Lament album, a prolonged creative process that paid off when several key outlets praised its heady hooks. The Guardian, for one, wrote, "After succumbing to the riptide pull of the opening track, 'Morning', you stay submerged, sound-bathing in layers of sublime guitar tones and effects that evoke a bevy of shoegaze legends like Slowdive, Ride, and Pale Saints. Two years in the making, the gradual build of Jane's Lament paid off in its drowsy unhurried air." Au.Ra took a similar approach with this year's Cultivations LP, embracing spontaneity on several vastly different songs (see: the intricate, slow-moving guitars of "Dreamwork" and the disjointed dance loops of "Blue Chip") and exploring the outer limits of experimental pop elsewhere. That goes for everything from the shimmering keys and steely percussion of "I Feel You" to the lush, melancholic melodies of "Set the Scene"-- tracks that take cues from King Tubby's dub-wise delays and murky synth-pop. Not to mention "Nowhere," a humid number that channels such richly woven reference points as the surreal '90s program Wild Palms and the artful duets of David Sylvian and Ryuichi Sakamoto. And to think it all started with showing up to the wrong class. Fate moves in mysterious ways indeed.

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2013-05-14
Standish/Carlyon: Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes is the debut album by futurist dub pop duo Standish/Carlyon, comprised of bassist/vocalist Conrad Standish and guitarist Tom Carlyon, both formerly of noir rock group Devastations. Deleted Scenes continues the process begun on the final Devastations album Yes, U, moving away from full-band arrangements towards submerged electronic rhythms and late-night altered states. The atmosphere throughout is one of surreal chic. In rich baritone or impressive falsetto, Standish intones dark, absurdist lyrics over the band’s shimmering take on dub, a sensual, ultramodern gloss disturbed by deep vibrations.

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2018-11-09
Public Memory: Demolition

Public Memory is a blend of damaged and dubbed out percussion, unfurling synths and sparse sampling all strung together by producer Robert Toher's spectral tenor. The project's sophomore LP, Demolition follows 2017's Veil of Counsel EP and 2016's Wuthering Drum LP with cinematic fortitude. While Public Memory's prominent krautrock and triphop rhythms are represented here, Demolition explores a greater range of tempos and an expanse of alien emotions with layers of electronic drums, live drums, Korg synths and samples from nature. Themes of rebirth and reflection imbue the album's atmosphere, rich in tape delay, spring reverb, and textures that conjure a sci fi and supernatural narrative. Toher's adept use of space and tension articulates the world of Demolition as eerie, emotive, and above all, narcotic. Each track is an existential procession. "Turning out the lights on your illusion," Toher sings to close the album, accepting that change is an inescapable condition of being.

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2015-02-03
Nite Fields: Depersonalisation

Like the chorus on "Come Down" that makes the downward trajectory sound ornate and beautiful, the debut LP, Depersonalisation, from Nite Fields is sparse and cold yet inviting and intimate at the same time.

The results are rich with character-full sounds. Deftly crafted and sonically diverse, within the nine tracks you'll find noisy percussion, jangly guitars, potent bass and hypnotic synthesizers, all polished with producer Nigel Yang's (of HTRK fame) signature electronic sheen.

Poetic and personal, you need only to listen to the record's lyrics and atmosphere to understand where the title Depersonalisation comes from. Recurring themes include disassociation of reality and dissipation of love, with Venzin's understated and at times unsettling vocal delivery almost as hard to forget as the album's unique mood.

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2017-08-25
Gold Class: Drum

Drum is the bold second album from Gold Class. The follow-up to 2015 debut It’s You, Drum is a brasher, vivid widescreen account of a band hitting its stride while betraying the complex signs and scars of a life since lived.

Formed in 2014 by a union of workmates and friends from a Melbourne bar and creative-writing course, Gold Class' string of lean, explosive live shows culminated in It's You - distillation of the then-fledgling group's wiry punk, carried by Curley's booming baritone and themes of personal politics, sexuality and identity. Recorded at Melbourne's Head Gap studios and co-produced by Gareth Liddiard of The Drones, Drum sees Gold Class explore new territory in both songwriting and sonics. Liddiard was instructive in helping the band capture these new moods. "We wanted to take a risk," says Curley. "He was the one person everyone felt could do something interesting with the album." Drum distils the messy scope of life into a brave, sometimes brutal but beautiful new document. Whatever will come, the beat - at least - goes on.

(Insight on Drum by Adam Curley, singer/lyricist for Gold Class)

The week we started to write Drum, my relationship ended and I was left alone in a draughty old house, which belonged to a friend of a friend. In the house, I sat around with my notebook, the quiet hours cut with news from friends and the TV: the suicides of musicians and writers I'd known and queer kids I hadn't; the systematic abuse of vulnerable people, the constant mockery of anyone on the outs.

I knew what the purpose of the album would be when I wrote the repeated line in 'Get Yours': "There’s none left here and all I need." I wanted it to be a record of defiance, a resistance to the idea of scrambling for a place at a table that wasn't set for you. A sort of a love letter to anyone who not only can't meet the standard but doesn't want to. I wanted it to be a record of rage and ecstasy and endless nights and sex and dumb fun and ventures in solidarity. Not just an album of urgency and longing, but one of abandon and a reclaiming of a self beyond boundaries.

But I couldn't avoid what was immediately happening in my life, either, that the end of my relationship had uncovered a lot of the feelings of isolation I experienced growing up. And so it turned out that the album is also personal, and I think is in conversation with queer histories of silence and evasion and transgression, which I was revisiting through the writing of James Baldwin and Cocteau. Childhood imagery kept creeping into the lyrics. Maybe I was trying to come to some peace with the past and to stand up and find some agency in the present. I suppose it was the most defiant thing I could think to do: not to write as some act of catharsis but in an attempt simply to document and claim my existence; that I am here.

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2016-12-02
Soviet Soviet: Endless

Italian trio Soviet Soviet take a broad view of the post-punk genre, ignoring timestamps and geographic restrictions to assemble a specimen uniquely theirs. Endless, Soviet Soviet's proper sophomore album, is the result of a very long, well thought out process marked by experimentation and innovation yet still tied to their instinctive style of interpreting and performing music. The band explains, "It started to take shape during soundchecks while on tour, as well as last year when we took a break from touring. It is certainly a continuum of Fate, which we could consider a starting point since every journey calls for us to identify a point from which to start or start over again. That is exactly what we are looking at." Endless is an intense story, one that is marked by purity and which talks of the past. It is an introspective, personal learning experience - a moment of reflection as well as a metamorphosis and a new beginning in life. It’s a tunnel - an experience through which to improve yourself and your surroundings. In many aspects, it's more complex than their previous work in terms of how the songs are arranged."

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2012-10-02
ERAAS: ERAAS

This sense of creating art that can spirit you away somewhere else entirely is something that most definitely also informs the self-titled debut album from Brooklyn-based band ERAAS. In 2011, the band's founding members, Robert Toher and Austin Stawiarz, both ex-members of New England-based project Apse, were gravitating more towards ritualistic and darker themes not fully explored in their previous incarnation. In searching for a place to translate this mood to record, the duo settled on a rambling, atmospheric mansion in Western Massachusetts outside of Northampton. ERAAS decided to retreat to an area steeped in history and its own distinct atmosphere — all deserted hill towns and melancholy beauty — to make this record. The decision paid rich creative dividends — this is an album that's heavy with both an ominous mood and a certain orchestral grandeur.

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2013-11-12
Soviet Soviet: Fate

Post-punk leaning trio Soviet Soviet were born in 2008 on the Adriatic coast of Pesaro, Italy by Alessandro Costantini (vocalist/guitarist), Andrea Giometti (lead vocalist/bassist) and Alessandro Ferri (drums). For the past year, the trio have converted that immediacy from the stage into a proper studio, honing and fine tuning the production on their debut album, Fate.

Fate continues the path of past releases, but with a tighter ferocity and sense of confidence in their unique sound within the post-punk genre. The guitar has more bite, the bass glows with a deeper tone and the drums are as steady and punchy as ever. While post-punk is the easy descriptor, Soviet Soviet's lens of the genre is much wider, grabbing from coldwave, art punk and more, figuring out a way to make something fresh

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2013-08-20
Flaamingos: Flaamingos

Flaamingos were formed in Los Angeles by Jerry Narrows (vocals, drum programming) and Daniel Koontz (guitar, bass, synth). The two played together in psych and shoegaze bands as youngsters then parted ways for a time. After bumping into one another at an Echo Park party spot in 2011, they decided to try collaborating again, this time crafting a new sound that would include traces of their past psych/shoegaze inclinations as well as a newer-found love for krautrock, post-punk, synth pop and new romantic shimmer. LA’s infamous Part Time Punks night took notice and the band have spent many a nights there performing and crafting what is their self-titled debut album which is due to be released worldwide in Summer 2013 via felte.

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2014-06-24
White Hex: Gold Nights

Female/male duo White Hex released their debut album Heat in 2012. 2014 sees their return with the follow up full-length, Gold Nights. The album is the second in a series of three thematically connected records which is based on a period of three years. Recorded after shows in Paris, Berlin, New York and Melbourne, Gold Nights explores Italo disco, minimalist techno and the more primitive end of 1980's German underground. They embrace their love of high fashion, 1980's New York vogue techno and the mutant explorations of Whitehouse, Arthur Russell, Craig Leon and Gianni Rossi. Gold Nights retains certain elements of their beloved debut, but moves in a more sophisticated direction as a result of White Hex's vision and with the help of producer Alex Akers (Forces-Siberia Records). White Hex is Tara Green and Jimi Kritzler. Gold Nights will be released on Felte worldwide excluding Australia on June 10th, 2014.

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2018-05-25
Numb.er: Goodbye

Numb.er is the sonic brainchild of Los Angeles based photographer and visual artist Jeff Fribourg. With a background in graphic design, Fribourg imbues his work with a sense of architectural composition, layering angular guitar riffs and analog synths over throbbing drums and driving bass. Fribourg developed his love affair with synthesizers and his openminded approach to music as a founding member of LA psychkraut favorites Froth. However, it was only with the creation of Numb.er that he was able to fully explore his eclectic musical inclinations. Combining elements of punk, shoegaze and postpunk, the project never commits to a singular worldview, allowing Fribourg's vision to go anywhere without sounding ironic or forced. With the release of Goodbye, the band's first LP due in late May on felte, Numb.er offers a genredefying sonic document that finds them maximizing the creative potential of the studio while always remaining true to their dynamic and arresting live sound. Mixed and mastered by Mikey Young of Total Control, Numb.er takes a carefully orchestrated approach to chaos and adds Fribourg's own subtle knack for memorable hooks and soft, melodic passages.

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2013-02-19
PVT: Homosapien

Last we heard of Australian three-piece PVT, they were exploring the outer reaches of electronic rock with their 2010 album Church With No Magic. The Australian trio have made a distinguished career out of making genre-bending guitar music, carving themselves a reputation as sonic innovators. All of which made their new album Homosapien — their fourth studio album and Felte debut — a startling listening. The difference is apparent from the instant you hit play on Homosapien: Richard Pike is singing. PVT's records have featured vocals in the past of course, but this is the first release that's placed Pike front and centre as a bona fide frontman. The change provides his band's sound with a focal point that allows Homosapien to be more open, more intimate and yet also more direct than its predecessors. This is the document of a band as close as ever to defining ‘their sound’: a seamless collage of instruments, electronics, old keyboards and machines, and Pike's voice.

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2013-02-19
PVT: Homosapien

Last we heard of Australian three-piece PVT, they were exploring the outer reaches of electronic rock with their 2010 album Church With No Magic. The Australian trio have made a distinguished career out of making genre-bending guitar music, carving themselves a reputation as sonic innovators. All of which made their new album Homosapien — their fourth studio album and Felte debut — a startling listening. The difference is apparent from the instant you hit play on Homosapien: Richard Pike is singing. PVT's records have featured vocals in the past of course, but this is the first release that's placed Pike front and centre as a bona fide frontman. The change provides his band's sound with a focal point that allows Homosapien to be more open, more intimate and yet also more direct than its predecessors. This is the document of a band as close as ever to defining ‘their sound’: a seamless collage of instruments, electronics, old keyboards and machines, and Pike's voice.

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2013-11-12
ERAAS: Initiation

The music of Brooklyn duo ERAAS creates an entirely self-contained world – an illusory, mysterious, at times supernatural realm that conjures a sense of suspense while being seductive. From the brief dialogue that precedes the pummeling beats of opener "Looking Glass" to the closing hiss and crackle of the title track, Initiation represents a coming of age for the band. For anyone who’s heard their 2012 self-titled debut album, Initiation is the culmination of the different themes explored there, honed, refined, pushed further and fashioned into its own unique world; a weird and alluring junction of ghostly atmospheres, punishing percussion, spectral vocals, phonography and sound design, all interwoven into a captivating atmosphere that is distinctively ERAAS' own.

With Initiation, the band seem to be looking for a sign of hope within the emptiness that surrounds them, trying to make amends with those in their lives, but not quite sure how to. A struggle we can all identify with. Listening to this record feels like a journey of sorts — faceless intruders, dreams of non-existent lovers, ghosts in the doorway, immortality, betrayal, and revenge –– trying to make sense of it all.

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2016-08-19
Ritual Howls: Into The Water

Ritual Howls are industrial rock meets cinematic country goth. Entering a vast nothingness of everything, exploring the unknown, baptizing, cleansing yourself, actually putting something or someone into water, like an act of murder, hiding something. "Look into the water at your Francis Bacon face. Are your lies that easy to erase?" Welcome to the trio's third album, Into The Water.

Detroit's Paul Bancell (vocals/guitars), Ben Saginaw (bass) and Chris Samuels (synths, samples, drum machines) are Ritual Howls. They collect samples of the physical world and feed them with guitar, vox, bass, synth and drum machines to create an aura of darkness over a pop sensibility. Paul Bancell provides lyrics that Poe or Lovecraft would approve of while Chris Samuels and Ben Saginaw provide sounds that bring his macabre tales lurching into the world of the living. Collaboratively, Ritual Howls create a surreal, introspective gloom that could fuel a disco in hell, a soundtrack to your favorite nightmares and most grisly fantasies.

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2015-09-04
Gold Class: It's You

There are few voices of meaningful dissent left in rock music. Even fewer play with the savagery, subtlety and melody of Melbourne-based newcomers Gold Class. Gold Class formed quickly. Guitarist Evan James Purdey recruited fellow creative-writing students Mark Hewitt (drums) and Adam Curley (vocals) to elaborate on guitar ideas he’d recorded to a Dictaphone over the course of a summer. Jon Shub, who worked late-night bar shifts with Purdey and Curley and who builds and fixes guitars out of a workshop, made an instrument for himself and joined on bass.

Armed with only a handful of songs, Gold Class quickly drew heads to their live shows when they appeared mid-2014, just a couple of months after getting together. Characterised by attacking rhythms, bristling garage guitar lines and the deep vibrato of singer Adam Curley, the band were soon mixing art-space and basement gigs for their debut seven-inch, “Michael”. In the autumn of 2015, Gold Class recorded ten songs to tape. The result is the band’s debut album, It’s You. Political protest meets Australian kosmische; proud perversion rubs against lo-fi jangle, and outsider longings become rallying choruses as Gold Class play out the push-and-pull of their first album’s title.

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2015-03-03
Au.Ra: Jane's Lament

Sydney's Au.Ra, a duo composed of Tim Jenkins and Tom Crandles, are set to release their new full length Jane's Lament, a work which carefully envelops the listener in dreamy hues of sound. Made over the course of two years, the LP was birthed from improvised jams the pair play over droning guitars and looped drum beats. Tracks like "Sun," and "Pyramid" emerge slowly out of interplays between simple melodies and layered, reverbed instrumentation.

Au.Ra's "emotive soundscapes" perfectly encase their nontraditional pop songwriting, like on highlight "Morning," where shimmering guitar riffs transport you to a serene, meditative realm. Their repetitive lyrics belie this easy transcendence, sometimes even verging on incantation. These songs evoke a languid drive along a bending highway in autumn, the scenery and light shifting ever so slowly out the windows. As the sun sets earlier, this is an album to savor with the dying light.

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2014-10-28
Mysteries: New Age Music Is Here

Mysteries is just as it implies. A few months ago the felte label received an anonymous demo accompanied by a photo of 3 figures, faces covered like some sort of futuristic druids. To this day the label still doesn't know the group's origin, but the joy of discovering this music unimpeded renders this fact almost irrelevant.

There's a sense that the band would prefer to keep your focus on the music and not who they are, where they come from or what you might perceive them to be before hearing a single note. If you need glorious mug shots and preamble to capture your intrigue, then this is not for you. The album's title, New Age Music is Here, could even be a sarcastic shot at the new listening habits dictated by the constant noise all around us, but is more likely a simple invitation to engage with the music on its own terms, in its own universe.

One thing is certain, New Age Music Is Here glows with exotic, crunchy, muscular, expressive pop music built around vocals and drums, rather than the big synth or guitar riffs prevalent today. Almost like a psych-rock, cyborg, 50's doo-wop Alice Coltrane if you will. Is it truly new age? We definitely haven't heard much like it.